IGF 3: 8-man World open weight GP includes Dion Staring, Antony Rea, Chris Barnett

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IGF 3 Open Weight GP
IGF 3 Open Weight GP

The Inoki Genome Federation will have their third MMA event named IGF Fight 3 on April 11, 2015 at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan.  It will feature the opening round of an 8-man open weight tournament called the World GP.

Six of the eight fighters are revealed. They are:

・ヨセフ・アリ・ムハマド(YOSEF ALI MOHAMMAD)
・フェルナンド・ロドリゲス・Jr(FERNANDO RODRIGUES JR.)
・アントニー・リー(ANTONY REA)
・オリィ・トンプソン(OLI THOMPSON)
・ディオン・スターリング(DION STARING)
・クリス・バーネット(CHRIS BARNETT)

Golden Glory’s Dion Staring stands out as possibly the front runner with a 31-10 record earned in Strikeforce, Shooto, KSW and Jungle Fight. He’s faced notables Akira Corassani, Daniel Cormier, and Antonio Rogerio Nogeuira.

France’s Antony Rea is close behind. He has fought all over the world including stints in Cage Rage and WEC. He’s racked up a massive 27-14-0 fighting the likes of Jimi Manuwa, Kazuo Takahashi, Vitor Belfort, Marvin Eastman, Evangelista Santos and Rich Franklin.

Chris Barnett is well-known to IFG fans as he’s been fighting there since last year with two wins that have contributed to his 12-1.

England’s Oli Thompson has a record of 12-8 from fighting in Europe and the US, where he had two fights in the UFC against Shawn Jordan and IGF vet Phil De Fries. Most recently he’s been in BAMMA and in KSW where he fought Mariusz Pudzianowski.

Yosef Mohammad is a giant 6’6″ striker from Sweden with a 4-1 record.

Fernando Rodrigues Jr is a Brazilian with Team Nogueira who has a record of 7-1.

IGF is making a good investment by promoting the heavier weight divisions. As a promoter primarily known for pro wrestling events, the majority of their fans are pro wresting-oriented, maybe 70 to 30 or 80 to 20. They are not hard core MMA fans who want to see MMA techniques, so the power and knockouts will deliver more excitement for them.

Remember the very early stage of K-1 and PRIDE. Heavyweight fights were effective for getting the fans interested in the early stages, because they didn’t know the MMA techniques at all. Also, three or four years ago DEEP held a Megaton Tournament with many heavyweight fighters, presumably DEEP had the same reason.

So the heavyweight fights are effective for IGF in growing their MMA part of the promotion at this stage.

The semifinals will be held on August 29th at IGF 4, and the IGF World GP Championship bout will take place on the annual New Years Eve event, Inoki Bom Ba Ye 2015.

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